Dean's Message
Spring 2012  No.21
Mechanical Engineering Professors
Elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences

Two professors from the Department of Mechanical Engineering joined the ranks of the nation's best scientific minds in December 2011, when they were elected to the prestigious members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Prof Tongyi Zhang, Chair Professor, and Prof Ping Cheng, Professor Emeritus, were among three Hong Kong academics honored for their outstanding scientific achievements. The third was Prof Mingjie Zhang, Chair Professor in the Division of Life Science at HKUST. Membership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the highest academic title conferred by the Chinese government for achievements in science and technology research.

HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan said he was proud of the academic accolade bestowed on the University's faculty members. He also hoped it would lead to greater strides in Hong Kong-Mainland collaborations and assist science and technology development.

Prof Tongyi Zhang paid tribute to his own professors, and the dedication of colleagues and students. He thanked the University of Science and Technology Beijing, where he received his PhD, for giving him a quality education and HKUST for providing a world-class work environment.

Prof Zhang's primary research focus is on hydrogen embrittlement, fracture and failure of multi-field coupling materials and micro/nanomechanics. He has published over 160 SCI papers and co-holds two US patents. He is a two-time recipient of the State Natural Science Awards, Second Class, and has received the Senior Research Fellow Award from the Croucher Foundation in Hong Kong, the Fellow Award from the ASM International in US, and the National Award for Young Scientists from the China Association for Science and Technology. He joined HKUST in 1993 and was later promoted to Chair Professor. Prior to HKUST, he had undertaken research at the University of Göttingen, University of Rochester, and Yale University.

Active and highly respected in the international community, Prof Zhang was nominated to be Executive Officer of the International Congress on Fracture in 2009, and invited to deliver plenary lectures at the 12th International Conference on Fracture and the 18th European Conference on Fracture. 

Prof Ping Cheng is a world-renowned researcher in the field of heat transfer. He has published over 180 SCI papers in porous-media heat transfer, radiative heat transfer and microscale heat transfer with an h-index of 39. He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1986 and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in 2004.

A long-time academic top achiever, Prof Cheng has won many awards during his career, including the 2006 ASME/AIChE Max-Jakob Memorial Award, considered the highest international honor in the field of heat transfer. He has also received the Shanghai Science and Technology Award, First Class, and State Natural Science Award, Second Class.

Prof Cheng, who undertook his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, acknowledged the support he had received from HKUST when he was Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1995-2002). He became Professor Emeritus in 2003 and is currently Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Center for Microfluidics and Thermal Control at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.